Friday, January 21, 2011
One of the animals that came into our family, also a rescue, was the recipient of a lot of Coffee's bossiness... Hercules was a terrific Labrador retriever/pointer cross, but if he didn't mind "the boss" she'd be on him, yapping at him or growling her displeasure until he licked her muzzle and said "Okay boss."
Herculese came from a family where all the kids had grown and left home. The mother worked and was gone all day sometimes having to stay late at her job. She felt sorry for him and thought he needed more company. She found a home for him through a friend of mine. But that didn't quite work out for the dog. He was only about 6 or 7 when my friend asked if I would take him under my wing.
I lived in the country, had Coffee as my assistant trainer and welcomed Hercules into the family. He was a super dog, loved to go for walks, to hunt - though he never caught anything that I know of, and to play. He was however, the one who prompted my purchasing Invisible Fence when I finally bought my own home. When we moved up here, he went visiting everywhere. I was so worried with the busy county road we faced and also wasn't sure how he'd react to the cattle in the field immediately across that road. Would he chase them? Would he wander away? Would he be killed while running on the road? So I bought the system. And have never looked back. I'm a big booster...it's saved many of the dogs that have come to live with me, but it was all thanks to Herculese and his friendly gregarious personality.
It was a shock when he began limping one day after we'd been here about five years. His muzzle had turned more gray and he seemed to be in terrible pain. A visit to the vet proved he had bone cancer. Poor animal. We helped him out of pain right away of course, one of my very sad moments.
More about the increasing amount of cancer occurring in animals in a future blog. I find it very worrying - it's not only people who are showing up with this hideous disease, but our animal friends as well, and who knows what and how many farm animals bred for food experience this horror?
But the story today is about Herculese and how rescuing an animal from an unhappy situation, whether it's a shelter or the "owner's " circumstances have changed, whatever it is - rescue is such a rewarding thing to do. This dog was a fabulous, loving companion.
I'll never forget him and his warm brown eyes that seemed to take in everything and be saying, "I'll be a good dog, what do you want me to do?" from the moment he came to stay with me. What more can you ask from a dog who has been handed round? A second hand dog. He was tied for first in my family along with his friends the cats and his pal Coffee.